Morning Headlines — 6/12/13

In its battle against the growing trend of cutting the cord, Comcast instead wants TV viewers to ditch the DVR. The cable TV giant on Tuesday took the wraps off X2, an upgrade to its X1 entertainment platform, which includes a new compact set-top box that will store recorded programs in the cloud. The box doesn't even have a hard drive for local storage, resulting in a form factor three times smaller than conventional boxes, and 50 percent less power consumption. [CNET]

DirecTV Disses Broadcasters
DirecTV says it is time for Congress to step in and either "jettison broadcast regulations altogether"--that would include must-carry/retrans--or make the laws "smarter to reflect the marketplace." [Broadcasting & Cable]

‘PBS NewsHour’ Plans Layoffs as It Closes Offices
The “PBS NewsHour,” the signature nightly newscast on public television, is planning its first significant round of layoffs in nearly two decades. Amid declines in support from corporate sponsors, the show’s producer, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, will close the two offices it has outside of the Washington, D.C., area — in Denver and San Francisco — and lay off most of the employees there. [NY Times]

The Democratic staff memo for today's hearing on STELA, the law providing a compulsory license authorizing satellite companies to import TV station signals, lays out the issues expected to be raised in the hearing, which is entitled "The Satellite Television Law: Repeal, Reauthorize or Revise?" [Broadcasting & Cable]

Welcome To Radio Pandora
Pandora has announced an agreement to purchase KXMZ-FM, in Rapid City, South Dakota. The station is owned by Jeff Warshaw's Connoisseur. Pandora says the acquisition is being made in part to allow the company to qualify for certain Radio Music Licensing Committee settlement agreements concerning royalties and public performance of musical works in the ASCAP and BMI repertories.  [Radio Ink]

Wheeler FCC Nomination Hearing Set
Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller on Tuesday announced that the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Thomas Wheeler to be FCC chairman. [TVNewsCheck]

Cable Execs Admit TV Isn't Everywhere Yet
The promise of "TV Everywhere" has been a key strategy in the cable and satellite TV industry's fight to retain customers in the face of challenges from online video providers such as Netflix. Yet many rights deals still haven't been worked out. More important, audience measurement firms have been slow to count viewing on mobile devices, so advertisers have been reluctant to pay as much for commercials on phones and tablets compared with television sets. [AP/TVNewsCheck]

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